The Easter long weekend isn’t far away and we all know that the Margaret River region is the best place to be when it arrives. Whether you’re a travelling couple, holidaying with the kids, or after a bit of an adventure, going on a hunt to try some of the Margaret River region’s best chocolate is going to make your Easter weekend what it should be.
Cassandra Charlick took one for the team and went about finding and tasting desserts and chocolate from some of the region’s best producers – all in the name of research, she says! Follow her chocolate trail for the perfect Easter weekend activity.
Margaret River Farmers Market
Situated on Bussel Hwy at the top of town every Saturday morning, the Margaret River Farmer’s Market is a dream for chocolate lovers. Try Nadia Haskell’s small-scale, handmade Harlequin Chocolate and Calvacade Desserts – they are made with fine French and Italian couverture in decadently flavoured truffles, pralines and bonbons. Some of the flavour combos include ginger and black sesame and lemon and basil – so be prepared to get adventurous in your tastings! Over Easter, you can take home one of her hand-painted chocolate eggs, macadamia Easter truffles or passion fruit fudge-filled eggs. Imagine adding these to your annual backyard Easter egg hunt!
Not far from the markets, a quick five-minute drive will take you to Temper Temper’s chocolate headquarters. Their chocolate is made from sustainably sourced couverture and caters for those who love chocolate, but might be wanting a healthy or sugar free option. Prepare for absolute chocolate overload here: there’s chocolate to taste, smell, and gaze upon on all 180 of their chocolate laden shelves. That’s a lot of chocolate. You can also watch the master chocolatiers at work through the kitchen window and see how molten chocolate is transformed into handmade creations filled with dried fruits, nuts, berries and spices. Flavour combinations here range from the most traditional chocolate and raspberry right through to turmeric and ginger, but if there isn’t something that strikes your fancy you can don an apron and come up with your own creation to take home at their DIY Chocolate Bar.
Bettenay’s Margaret River Nougat Company
While nougat might not seem like the most traditional Easter treat, Bettenay’s produce a seriously good range of chocolate nougat and Nougaretto liqeur, which you might be needing at the end of a whole day of being mum or dad and the Easter Bunny. For Easter, Bettenay’s have a special four-pack featuring their most decadent chocolate nougat bars, purchasable in store.
The Margaret River Chocolate Company
Heading further north, you’ll reach the Margaret River Chocolate Company which was opened in 1999 and quickly became a must-visit for travellers in the region. While yes, there are free tasters, this is also a great place to take a quick spell and sit down in the café. They have a whole host of light snacks and drinks, or dedicated chocoholics can try one of their delicious hot chocolates. Back to the chocolate, you’ll find over 200 products on the store floor so it might be easiest to just join their chocolate club where you can keep up to date with news and specials. Easter is the busiest time of year for these guys and, amazingly, they are already busily making more than 20,000 Easter quokka, bilbies, bunnies, eggs and Easter truffles in preparation for your visit. Over the Easter long weekend, they host free Easter egg hunts each day and the Easter Bunny visits too.
Bahen & Co.
While there is not currently a storefront for Bahen & Co., no Margaret River chocolate journey would be complete without a taste of their small-scale, lovingly made chocolate treats. Founded by former winemaker Josh Bahen, Bahen & Co. chocolate is made from cocoa beans sourced direct from farmers all over the globe and made on his family farm with traditional vintage equipment. You can purchase Bahen & Co. chocolate from a variety of local stockists including The Larder, Blue Ginger, Vasse Virgin and Leeuwin Estate, or online.
Nestled among the vines in Yallingup is Western Australia’s first bean-to-bar chocolate producer, Gabriel Chocolate. Made by Gabriel Myburgh, this chocolate ranges from the sweetest and milkiest of flavours through to the darkest 99% cocoa. We know it’s been a long and very chocolatey day, but make sure you leave some quality time at the end of it to taste his wide range of single-origin bars and explore the subtle variances in flavour that come from the choice of bean and its country of origin. Before heading home, grab one of Gabriel’s sublime hot chocolates or a silky smooth, home-made chocolate ice-cream – you won’t regret it.
Wondering what else to do this Easter? Check out everything that’s open.
If you’re planning your trip, make the most of these accommodation deals available now.
This blog has been adapted from an article written by Cassandra Charlick, which was initially published in the Autumn issue of the Your Margaret River Region Magazine.